Lady Eaton College: 50 Years of Leadership, Engagement, and Creativity

Lady Eaton College.

Lady Eaton College recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary. LEC’s principal, Christine Freeman-Roth, was eager to discuss recent changes and those planned for the future.

Freeman-Roth emphasized that the colleges are run by a team, not just a Principal, and that the changes are made possible thanks to all of the support.

“We really want to stay connected to our history but also broaden out the appeal to students,” Freeman-Roth said. “I want to create a broader learning community that students who are not in residence can belong to.”

Only a very small proportion of Lady Eaton students are on campus, according to Freeman-Roth. She approaches this by examining ways in which LEC can be brought together as a community, rather than just focusing on students in residence.

A college engagement survey in the fall of 2018 was designed to receive students’ feedback on Trent’s five colleges. According to the survey, many students, particularly students affiliated with LEC, suggested more spaces for students on campus that have what they need. Additionally, students requested more face time with their faculty and experts within their field. These types of events so far have been tremendously successful, such as Max Eisen’s lecture and the Gilbert Ryle lecture series in the fall of 2018. Freeman-Roth said that the colleges are going to continue with these types of events, which reach out to a variety of disciplines and student interests.

Freeman-Roth was also interested in expanding space for students, saying that she aimed to change the “space configuration to make sure that we have space that is always accessible to students.” Freeman-Roth wants to ensure that the spaces are also bookable.

There is a lot of overlap between Traill College and Lady Eaton College. Freeman-Roth aims to collaborate more between Traill and LEC; for example, she suggested more spaces for students to practice music.

Lady Eaton College recently entered into a community partnership with the Art School of Peterborough.

“I really want to build those community partnerships, because whether it’s art or civic engagement or leadership, there’s all sorts of people doing amazing things in the community,” said Freeman-Roth.

Dr. Christine Freeman-Roth, Principal of Lady Eaton College, with the college crest. Photo by Sarah Cockins.

Lady Eaton College is planning a mural and is currently collecting ideas that represent Lady Eaton. After the idea for the image is approved, the college will be seeking out artists to paint the mural.

Lady Eaton College aims to bring Fellows – including staff, faculty, and students – together. On January 18, 2019, Lady Eaton College hosted a Founders Dinner to celebrate its 50th anniversary. On International Women’s Day, March 8, 2019, LEC will be hosting the Marjory Seeley Women in Leadership Luncheon. The event is about celebrating five decades of leading women in LEC, including a panel discussion with members from the past 50 years about how leadership roles for women have changed over time.

Lady Eaton College’s living learning communities (LLCs) are Artistic Expressions and Leadership & Civic Engagement. To support these values, LEC has come to stand for “Leading. Engaged. Creative” in addition to Lady Eaton College.

“I hope to create an environment where [activism] is encouraged,” and to “create a safe place for people to feel like they can have a view,” said Freeman-Roth. “We want to create a community that is engaged, that thinks about the world, and is reflective and contributes to the community.”

In relation to what the other colleges have planned, Freeman-Roth said, “We share a lot of the same goals. For LEC, our focus is leadership, civic engagement, and artistic expression.”

“Ultimately, we hope that all students would feel comfortable in any college,” said Freeman-Roth. She also expressed the importance of providing students with a choice in picking their college.

This article is taken from Arthur‘s insert, “West Bank Love.” Check out “East Bank Love” featuring Otonabee College and Peter Gzowski College in Issue 9, out on newsstands February 13, 2019.